The state’s Appellate Division removed a Nassau County Family Court judge from a case for taking an adversarial stance toward a Baldwin defendant who he tossed in jail. A four-judge panel said the removal of Judge Thomas Rademaker, of Sea Cliff, was needed in the interest of justice.
Rademaker’s secretary did not return an email seeking comment by deadline. The Sea Cliff resident, a Conservative, was elected to the family court in 2014 and ran for the state Supreme Court’s 10th District in November but did not earn enough votes. His term in family court expires in 2024.
According to his Facebook page, he ran to serve citizens with new, independent and fair leadership guided by his conservative principles.
Michael Berg, of Baldwin, and his ex-wife, Julie Berg, divorced in 2012 and the two had a daughter together. Julie Berg in 2014 alleged her ex-husband willfully violated spousal maintenance and child support requirements. Rademaker confirmed an earlier decision by another judge that Michael Berg was in violation of those obligations and threw him in jail for four months unless he paid out $517,857.25, the amount of money owed. Berg was unable to make the payment.
During the hearings, Rademaker ranted against Berg, according to court records. Among other things, he said the father that he “symbolizes everything that’s wrong with the world today” and that he was “the last guy that he would want to be in a foxhole with” because he would “fold like a cheap suit.” He also likened the money owed by Berg to “an arsonist that starts a fire that kills one person, that kills ten.”
Berg appealed Rademaker’s ruling, though he did not ask for the judge to be removed from the case. The appellate judges decided a new judge should determine whether Berg violated his child support requirements because Rademaker’s bias “apparently unjustly affected the result of the proceeding to the detriment of the father.”